Theorycrafting The Jackdaw (fitting)Gorski Car
This is part three of the theorycrafting series on tactical destroyers. You can read part one of this series here, and part two here. I will go through what a Jackdaw will be able to do with some potential fittings, and discuss what I think will be the cookie cutter setups for this ship. The Jackdaw is the new Caldari Tactical Destroyer. It is a missile based platform with a ton of mid slots. Let’s start by going over the general stats.
First off is a pretty standard 5% per level rate of fire bonus that will help the ship do a bit more damage. Then we have something really interesting and new on the Jackdaw: This ship gets a 15% per level reduction in reload speed. At level 5 skills this would mean that your reload speed is at 2.5 seconds. This is faster than everything except lasers and I would not underestimate this bonus at all. This will ensure that you are always using the right ammo and can swap from long to short range at will. The bonus will also help in those fights that are decided because your ship goes into a 10 second reload time. Then we have a generic 50% damage bonus that is surprisingly not damage locked. Thank you CCP for that. And lastly, the generic easier fitting for probe launchers that all tactical destroyers have.
This mode is the one I generally consider to be the strongest on all tactical destroyers. Providing a massive 33% resistance bonus on top of the T2 resistances that all tactical destroyers have. I feel this bonus will be even stronger on this ship due its six mid slots.
Propulsion mode is actually very interesting on this ship. Instead of the standard 66% bonus to speed and 33% bonus to agility this ship gets a 33% speed bonus and a 66% agility bonus. This makes the ship extremely agile in propulsion mode compared to normal mode. Here are a couple of tables showing the align time and speed on a unfitted Jackdaw with all V skills:
As you can see, the ship will be even more agile than Interceptors with propulsion mode on. The downside is that you will be less agile than a Maller in other modes. I like this mode design wise more than I like the Defensive mode. It provides a clear downside and upside compared to just increasing your already insane tank.
This is an interesting mode apart from the standard increased targeting stats. Increased range will first of all make this ship able to kite with rockets and I feel people haven’t yet realised how good this will be. Naturally, projection will be outstanding with light missiles when using Sharpshooter, boosting your range from 42 km to 70 km and allowing ranges at 100 km if you choose range rigs.
Slot Layout and Stats
The layout on this ship is: High slots: 6 (5 launchers) Mid slots: 6 Low slots: 2 Compared to the other tactical destroyers, the Jackdaw lacks the double utility high slots that the others have. You do have 6 mid slots though, and that is insane. I have said many times that mid slots are the most important slots for smaller ships. These are the slots that provide range control and tank that don’t come at the cost of damage. Six mid slots gets you a really strong tank while keeping both the web and scram. I would go for a dual web on this ship if you aim for a buffer setup. A benefit of dual web fits is that your rockets will apply full damage on almost all targets. It is also nice that the Jackdaw got the second low slot compared to a Flycatcher, which only has one. Being able to go with either dual Ballistic Controls or a Damage Control or Nanofiber is really good. I wouldn’t dismiss dual Ballistic Control setups just because they lack the Damage Control. You will still be able to fit a strong tank with your six mid slots. This ship will be pretty limited on power grid with only 71 PG at all V skills, and you do not want to sacrifice a low slot for a Micro Auxiliary Power Core to fix that, given that it only has two. The good thing is that you have CPU for everything you want pretty much. But the power grid will somewhat limit light missile fits from being too oppressive to the metagame. They will still be strong, just not overpowering.
I feel like the Jackdaw isn’t really as flexible as the Svipul with regards to fits. You are pretty much only going to see shield tanked light missile or rocket fits. With that said, there will be some variety with what mid slots you want and what type of tank you are going with. First up is the standard active tanked fit that was popularized with the Svipul.
There will be some small changes here depending on the pilot. First up is the choice between dual BCU or the Damage Control. I generally try to go with a Damage Control on active tanked ships because ships punching through your entire buffer and hitting your armor and structure can happen and the Damage Control helps greatly with keeping you from being one-shotted. Another thing to consider is the last mid slot. You have the choice of fitting either more tank, with an EM Ward or Invulnerability Field, or you might choose to increase your range control and application with another webifier. The tank that this fit will get is insane and there is no frigate or destroyer in the game that can break this before dying themselves. A similar fit that is a bit cheaper is a buffer version.
This is much cheaper and has both a Shield Extender and an Ancillary Shield Booster. I also went with the extra range control using dual webifiers. Next up are the Light Missile fits.
Or this if you are in a small fleet:
The main thing that keeps the Jackdaw down with LMLs is the fact that the ship is not very fast. The projection is insane though, and depending on the number of range rigs you decide to fit it can hit even further. I can still see variations of this being used to great effect and it is definitely a better kiting ship than the Svipul.
This next one has polarized rocket launchers, a oversized afterburner and dual webifiers. I feel like these guns are very underrated and while there are few ships that can actually use them, they almost always can’t apply at any range and die because of it. The trick here is to stay at max web range and kill stuff with your insane DPS while not taking much damage. Fitting Polarized Rocket Launchers pretty much gives up defensive mode entirely, so you don’t even have to worry about that. The nice thing is that you get 14 km range with rage rockets and hit almost 500 dps heated.
There are some small personal choices here, such as if you want to go with MWD or 10MN AB. I personally decided to go with a MWD since the ship isn’t fast enough with a oversized afterburner and I don’t like the sacrifices you have to make in order to make that fit. You are all going to think I am a horrible person for this next fit and I have to agree the value of my space honour has gone down recently.
The ECM Jackdaw. The general tactic here is to sit in an FW plex with a depot down and then refit jammers based on what you see on dscan. The MSE is swappable for a web or maybe even another ECM, if that is what you want. And last, but not least, I thought it would be a fun idea to throw on as many MASBs as possible without gimping the fit totally.
The Jackdaw seems like it half way made it to being balanced, with 10MN fits pretty much eliminated by the horrible speed and agility out of speed mode and low speed in general. When I first heard that the ship was going to be missile based and have six mid slots I was horrified. CCP have totally managed to hit a balance for the light missile fits though, and nothing feels overpowered. I also like the new reload bonus that the ship got instead of a tank bonus, that would have been broken. The ship has more then enough tank with simply defensive mode and T2 resistances. Add six mids on top of that and well, you are hitting over 10k tank easily, with active tanked fits able to tank a cruiser or two with ease. Rocket fits and tank in general will be too strong however. There will be no frigate or even destroyer that can break the tank of the Jackdaw alone before they die. Rockets in general are a very strong weapons system, unlike other missiles in the game, and it doesn’t help that the Jackdaw has enough mid slots to ensure full range control and good damage application. All in all it is going to be the new Svipul in FW space that no one fights and everyone hates, especially once price creeps closer to 30m and insurance pays out in full.